Honolulu Woman Volunteers to Fight Hunger

Lissi Chadwick
Lissi Chadwick
Sonya Bruyette
Sonya Bruyette

By Marvin Buenconsejo

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Imagine life before The Hawaii Food Bank.

After all, it wasn't that long ago.

We meet a Honolulu woman who helped fill the void by helping Hawaii's hungry, at a time when few organized programs existed.

Newly-donated cans of food line the shelves, here at the First United Methodist Church.

They don't sit for long, as lissi chadwick prepares the next batch, for distribution.

For close to three decades, Lissi has volunteered her time -- essentially 40 hours a week -- to keep this desperately-needed service alive.

And to think, all of this started in a church broom closet, back in 1980.

The Hawaii Food Bank wouldn't open for business for another two years.

''So from those few bags a month, sometime we got up to 800 bags a month," says Lissi.

She joined the congregation, back in 1978.

Two years later, Lissi dove head-first into collecting food for the needy.

All she had to do was look across the street, to find her true-calling.

''I saw them in the park across the street, digging through cans, looking for food," says Lissi. "I knew they didn't have enough money to make it through the month even though they had a job."

The church feeds more than 500 family members a month.

About a third of them are children.

They're given enough food to "hold them over" for about three days.

"She has a lot of compassion," says food bank volunteer, Sonya Bruyette. "She's got a real nice mix of leadership. When I see that, I like to let her know, to let people know when I see something noble. And I was hoping she could be acknowledged."

''I just feel the need to help someone," Lissi humbly says. "I just feel some kind of fulfillment by it."

Fulfillment in fighting hunger, one of the noblest causes of all.